Congratulations to Dignity/Chicago, which this year is celebrating its 40th anniversary of community, support, advocacy, and ministry for LGBT Catholics and their friends in the Chicago area.
“Dr. Thomas O’Brien, director of DePaul University’s Center for Interreligious Engagement, moderated the panel of six members, which included Lois McGovern, representing the ’70s; Michael Hogan and previous Dignity/Chicago Board President Kevin Buckley portraying the ’80s; Linda Kelly and Ald. James Cappleman, a past Dignity/Chicago board president, recalling the ’90s; and past Dignity/Chicago Board President Blane Roberts talking about the 2000s.”
Chapter President Chris Pett explained that looking backward is a way of preparing for the future:
” ‘The future is what we’re still exploring and understanding, but we got to know where we came from in order to know what our future is about,’ said Pett. ‘It was very powerful. I just think we are, as Christians, we are people of the story. To me, what was so important was to hear that again after 40 years we still maintain our identity, we still consider ourselves to be authentic voices of LGBT Catholics who reach out and want to create a spiritual home for people in general, but especially for LGBT Catholics. As I would put it, to be the church Jesus intended us to be and to not let the hierarchical church define who we are or tell us if we’re catholic or not because we have a right to exist. We do exist, we have existed and we’ll continue to exist.’ “
With such a strong and vibrant history, Dignity/Chicago seems well-placed to go forward to the future with a spirit of courage and optimism. We pray for continued blessings on their ministry, and we say “Ad multos annos!”
(Dignity/Chicago meets weekly for Mass on Sunday evenings, 5:00 p.m., at Broadway United Methodist Church, 3338 North Broadway, Chicago.)
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry